Today is my husband’s son’s birthday. My stepson. Our girls’ half brother. His name is Nick. He turns 22 today.
Rob hasn’t seen Nick since he was 4. The girls and I have never met him.
In the midst of my husband’s alcoholism, he lost custody…then, gave up his parental rights. Nick moved around a lot with his mom, Rob’s first wife. She remarried…her husband adopted Nick and he took his last name. They had a daughter…they also divorced.
For a long time we never knew where Nick was. Rob talked about him to our girls a lot. To make sure they knew they had a brother. To never forget…not just for them though, but so he could keep him alive in his mind as well.
We searched for him, found him on MySpace…he talked to us once or twice, then stopped.
We kept searching on Facebook…seeking him out, trying to connect. Then, a couple of years ago, it happened. He sent Tori a message on Facebook. He told her he thought she should know she had a brother.
She immediately responded, telling him she knew all about him and that he had two more sisters that he didn’t know about.
We all started messaging him. We would sit around the computer as a family, talking back and forth with him. So excited to finally know where he was…that he was ok…trying so hard to connect with him.
Then he stopped. No more contact, he shut his page down for a while…I checked…all the time…
I realize now that we had overwhelmed him. He had been told by his mother for all of his life that his dad didn’t want him. That his dad’s new family knew nothing about him.
He had no idea how much we all love him. How often we talk about him. Wonder about him. Pray for him. Hope for him.
And now, we wonder…does he realize how much we all love him? How much we miss and want to know him?
Recently, he reached out to Tori again. They’re texting…keeping in touch. He wants nothing to do with the rest of us right now. I think it must feel safer for him. He has told her all about his life. She doesn’t share much with us. Just that he’s happy.
He’s an artist. He’s very talented. He has a girlfriend and has bought his first house.
He’s 22. It’s been 18 years since Rob has seen him. Hugged him. 18 years he—WE—have missed.
Every year we hope…we hope that THIS will be the year he is ready. We pray that he will want to meet us. To allow us to be a part of his life…whatever that looks like. On his terms, even in the smallest way, to just begin to think about letting us in.
Nick, wherever you are…Whatever you are doing today…You are loved, missed, cherished, prayed for, wanted…Today and everyday.
I hope you have your favorite meal and cake today. That you get everything you want for your birthday. That you spend the day with the people you love. I hope you feel loved, blessed and cared for today. I hope you do something special for yourself.
I hope you remember, that as far away as we are, we love and care for you. Today and always. That we pray everyday you would make the decision to allow us to be a part of your life. That we are here, always, waiting patiently for you to reach out to us. No expectations, only open arms and loving hearts.
Happy Birthday Nick, wherever you are…we love you.